Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Windows Bullshit

Ok, so I wasn't going to post anything today as I don't have much to say, but I saw this on Sharkatude and had to put it up - enjoy......

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Beautiful People

"Beautiful people - you know the garden's full of furniture, the house is full of plants" - Australian Crawl

I'm on a psuedo-health-kick. I know that I can become healthier, fitter and feel better physically. I'm not over-weight for my height and age, but I've got a beer gut in training. My daily exercise currently consists of walking up and down 3 flights of stairs to my apartment and a 7 minute walk to and from the bus-stop. I'm generally short of breath when I get home each day, so I know I need to increase my fitness level. And I smoke. Problem is, I'm a lazy prick so I'm going to start by focusing on diet and tackle the other two issues later.

If you want to get rich quick - develop a diet, hire a well known celebrity to endorse it (it's what they're there for after all) and sell it to the weekly trash mags or current affairs programs. There are millions of diets out there (I haven't counted them personally) cashing in on people's desire to loose weight, get healthier and look more attractive. Most of these are genuinely good, healthy eating diets which, when combined with regular exercise, promote long-term health and weight loss. Then there are those quick-fix diets which promise 10kg weight loss in a month by eating nothing but celery and lettuce. Sure, they deliver what they promise, but are no good for your health or for long-term weight loss and fitness.

The driving desire behind the plethora of diets is society's idolisation of the body beautiful. Ask a person who has started a diet as to the main reason behind it and their answer will almost always be "to loose weight". We have become so conditioned to images of beautiful people that it has become an obsession. Girls want to look like super-models, boys want to look like athletes. Girls want to date boys who look like athletes, boys want to date girls who look like super-models. So we end up with a society that is too focused on image and what is on the outside and loose our individuality and what is on the inside. Certainly, the desire to improve one's fitness and health is an admirable one - the fact that your body changes, becomes more defined, slender or taut is side-effect. Unfortunately, it seems that the desire and the side-effect have become reversed for many. Ever been into a gym that didn't have mirrors?

Me, I'm not going on any set, formalised diet - I like a variety of foods. Instead I plan on eating more fruit and vegetables, cutting back on fat and carbs and eating smaller portions. I may try reducing my alcohol intake, but that is very unlikely ;)

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Bow River" Cold Chisel
"Californication" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Forever Now" Cold Chisel
"(Baby I've Got You) On My Mind" Powderfinger
"When I Rock" Thomas Schumacher
"Skylined" The Prodigy
"W.M.A" Pearl Jam

Monday, 29 January 2007

I Want My M-Tv

Last night I attended a street party hosted by M-Tv for the winner presentation of the one80 project. It was a good night - laid back atmosphere, free beer, good music, diverse crowd. To entertain the crowd, a couple of bands and a dj played before and after the official presentations. I was fortunate enough (?) to obtain a VIP pass which gave me access to the after-party where the band members and celeb judges got to hang out.

One of the bands which played was Temper Trap, a band I'd not heard of before but, I was told, are tagged as "the next big thing". I enjoyed the set they played, it was tight, fresh and pumpin. After taking advantage of the open bar at the after party, I settled down on a couch to chat with a friend. We were seated by the pool tables and were just contemplating racking up the balls when the guys from Temper Trap came across and claimed the table. No biggie - we hadn't laid any claim to the table but it turned out that table was missing a few balls. My friend and I offered assistance in locating the displaced balls and were ignored. A few attempts at good-natured conversation making later, it was apparent these newly discovered rock gods had no interest in associating themselves with us lower forms of being. Eventually, the high-priests of rock gave up on locating the balls and commenced playing with the few they had found. My friend and I, having identified ourselves as unworthy, continued our conversation on the couch but soon relocated after our heads survived a couple of very close encounters with pool queues. Most people playing pool in a crowded environment have the social etiquette to politely ask people to step aside when they are in the way of their next shot. It would seem that our rock god friends had no need for such politeness.

It surprises me that a group of young aussie blokes at the start of their fame career show such disdain towards others. Certainly, society unjustifiably allows celebrities to abide by their own rules and regulations - but these guys were total no-ones in the not-so-distant past. How long does it take for the ego trip of fame to remove humility, decency, courtesy? Why do the ordinary folk of this world idolise people who demonstrate such low, inconsiderate, self-centred behaviour?

Temper Trap huh? Me thinks they've entered a different sort of trap. Good luck to 'em.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Shoot to Thrill" AC/DC
"Last Exit" Pearl Jam
"Could Have Lied" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Blister in the Sun" Violent Femmes
"High Voltage" AC/DC
"Saturday Night" Cold Chisel
"Buddy Holly" Weezer
"New Years Day" U2
"Human Behaviour" Bjork

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Aussie Aussie Aussie

"We are one, but we are many and from all the lands on Earth we come"
Unofficial Australian National Anthem
Yesterday was Australia day, a day to celebrate Australian colonisation and all things Aussie. It was a typical summer's day here in Sydney with blue skies, slight humidity and a pleasant harbour breeze. Myself and a few friends spent the day around Circular Quay and The Rocks taking in the festival atmosphere. There were FA/18's buzzing the skies, Red Berets parachuting over the bridge, bands, buskers and dj's scattered around the harbour and streets, ferry races and tall ships on the water and, of course, much beer flowing. And the Australian flag was being worn in a show of pride that I have never witnessed before.

Each summer, Triple J puts on The Big Day Out music festival. It tours the nation and New Zealand featuring leading Australian and international artists. In Sydney, the BDO is on the day before Australia Day and is a warm-up for the start of the long weekend. As such, the Australian flag is usually spotted among the mosh-pits and dance-floors of the festival. This year, in response to the race-riots of Cronulla, the BDO organisers requested that patrons leave their Aussie flags at home. The media naturally lurched onto this, dubbing the Australian flag "gang colors" in an attempt to stir the whole racism pot of hatred. Of course, Aussies being Aussies flooded the BDO grounds with Australia flags galore.

The spirit of defiance and national pride continued into Australia day with people of all cultural backgrounds sporting the Aussie flag in a show of unity. While the crowd at The Rocks was predominantly caucasian, there were Australians from all cultural backgrounds drinking and having a good time with their fellow residents. One of the friends I was with comes from a Sri Lankian background. Over a few beers, we discussed the cultural mix of the day and she advised that when she saw another person with dark skin they shared a glance of almost relieved recognition. It saddens me that one of my best friends felt that way, but placing myself in her shoes, I can fully appreciate why. We've all been in that situation where you feel like an outsider for some reason or another and all you hope for is a familiar face to put you at ease - someone else to share your discomfort. But the fact my friend should have to feel this way on a day to celebrate her country is a true shame. Our nation will never be truely united until we stop seeing colors, features and differences and start seeing people. And when that happens, what a truely great country we will be.

Happy Australia Day mate.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"It Doesn't Matter" Chemical Brothers
"All I Want is You" U2
"The Nosebleed Section" Hill Top Hoods
"Black" Pearl Jam
"No One Else" Weezer
"Loops and Tings" Jens
"Have a Drink on Me" AC/DC
"Polly" Nirvana
"Blister in the Sun" Violent Femmes
"Saturday Night" Cold Chisel
"Nightmare" Brainbug

Monday, 22 January 2007

I Love A Sunburnt Politician

Yet another hot, sunny summer's day. I have been missing summer badly. Normally, by this time of the year, we should have seen a bevy of 30oC+ days followed by 20oC+ nights... but not this year. Australia's weather has been, to put it bluntly, fucked up. In the past month the nation has seen snow, hail, floods, drought, bushfires, thunderstorms and heatwaves. Hell, throw in a plague of locust and all that is missing is a bunch of dudes on horses riding through the skies.

The BOM staff have advised that all this is not due to global warming, which I'd buy if it wasn't happening on a global scale. Everywhere around this fragile planet the weather has been unseasonable, unpredictable and generally unfriendly. Strange that a government funded body would play down the possibilities of the current weather trends being related to global warming.... being an election year and all.... When An Inconvenient Truth hit cinemas here, the government did its predictable thing and made like it was actually concerned with global warming. Of course, no real changes have been promised to be implemented until after the election. After all, why go spending money now to start fixing a problem which will impact current and future generations when you can use it for leverage?

Unfortunately, this is the start of 2 not-so-pleasant trends for 2007. 1 - unpredictable and possibly devastating weather patterns, and 2 - predictable and soul-devastating political spin. It will be a year of seeing farmers continuing to suffer from the drought, consumers paying increasingly higher prices for groceries and smiling politicians making empty promises.

Sometimes though, there is a glimmer of hope and goodness when someone (or something) puts their money where their mouth is. Woolworths has been running a series of adverts for the past year or so promoting themselves as major supporters of Australian farmers. Being the cynic that I am, these ads have left me cold as the majority of products sold in large supermarkets are imported or made from imported produce. And then Woolies had to go and launch National Drought Action Day - a day where all profits from all Woolworths stores nationwide will be donated to the Country Women's Association to support rural families struggling from the drought. Onya Woolies!

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Their Law" Prodigy
"Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)" De La Soul
"Here I Come (Drumapella)" CJD Project
"Amphetamine" Drax
"Come and Die" Therapy? & Fatal
"Once" Pearl Jam
"Gimme The Car" The Violent Femmes
"Seven Days & One Week (Club Mix)" B.B.E
"Scared (Scared of Tomorrow Remix)" Slacker

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Easy Like A Sunday Morning

It's hot today - 36oC in Sydney town. I plan on doing nothing but sitting on my ass all day (tho I may jump in the pool for a bit). Tomorrow is Monday and I have a shit load of work to get through. I contemplate logging into work from home and getting some of the smaller, menial tasks done but I really can't face it on a hot, Sunday afternoon. This is my time, time to be me.

Last night I went with some friends to see Deja Vu which was not too bad. Nothing outstanding about it, but nothing much to dis-like either. I normally steer away from Hollywood blockbuster type movies, but I like Jerry Bruckheimer's movie style (Black Hawk Down is one of my favourite movies).

I downloaded the first season of Weeds yesterday and watched the first 3 episodes when I got home from the movies. This has become my favourite tv show for the moment, even though it's not being screened on television here currently. Channel 9 is going to screen the doco that Steve Irwin was filming when he was killed. It had to happen eventually. No, fuck that - they were going to do it eventually. There is no essential point or purpose behind the screening of this doco other than the exploitation of Steve's death. It's their marketing platform on this one. They are blatantly promoting it as the documentary Steve Irwin was filming when he died. I don't have the energy to do a full rant on this, it's too hot. I think one word sums it up - bullshit.

I also watched Wife Swap USA which I recorded while I was out. It is easy enough to write the show off as a trash reality program, but I see a lot more in it than 2 fast-fame seeking families embarrassing themselves in public. To me, Wife Swap provides an insight to the way people, families, relationships actually are. It also makes me question what sort of man I am, what sort of relationship I want and what I am looking for in a wife. Give it a chance, you may be surprised - I certainly was.

If anyone is actually reading this, perhaps you could help me out with a couple of issues I've experienced since creating this blog?

  1. At the bottom of my template, I have installed a visit counter from Tiny Counter but as you can (or cannot) see, it does not display. Or does it? I can't see it in my browsers - both IE 7 and Firefox. Tiny Counter provides free, no conditions counters and has no real support desk so I'm shit outta luck. If you can see the counter or know of another free, no advertising required counter provider, please let me know.

  2. The majority of my readers come from My Blog Log (hi guys and thanks for your visit!) which is a service I subscribe to. For some reason when I access, no page is displayed. However, if I change the URL to, I can view the page, though without any formatting. Again, I have tried this in both IE7 and Firefox with the same result. I've emailed My Blog Log support but have had no response to date. Any ideas?

That's it for today - time to jump in the pool I think. Hope you have a pleasant and relaxing Sunday to recharge your batteries for another week.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Re:Evolution" Shamen
"Breaking the Girl" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Dreamer" Living Joy
"Old Mother Reagan" Violent Femmes
"W.M.A" Pearl Jam
"Iris" Goo Goo Dolls
"Hot" Purveyors of Fine Funk
"Dub Plate Pressure Remix" Sniper feat MC GQ
"Yesterday" Guns N Roses

Friday, 19 January 2007

Variety show

I detest David Letterman. For me, he embodies all that is wrong with the USA and tipifies what non-Americans percieve Americans as being. Arrogant, self-centred, egotistical, shallow and just not funny. (Big generalisation there I know and no offence intended the good, honest folk who live in the USA - but really, your country's public image is letting you down bigtime. If you don't believe me, go ask a non-American who lives outside of the States what they really think of the USA.) Fortunately, I have been able to live in blissful ignorance of Letterman for the past few years as his show was relegated to a late-night timeslot well after I had gone to bed. But not tonight....

Most of the western world knows that a great man named Steve Irwin died last year in an ironically suitable accident. Steve left behind his pleasant wife and 2 children - Bindi and Bob. Unlike the respectful privacy that the media showed to Willy and Harry after the death of Dianna, the Irwins have been constantly in the spotlight since Steve's death. And Bindi has been the main focus. The media has been having a field day, helped greatly by the fact the Bindi has an overwhelming desire to take on her father's cause (noble) and keep both it and the family in the public eye. Problem is, Bindi is all of 8 years old and no 8 year old should get everything they want. Kudos to Terri for keeping it together and encouraging her child to persue her dreams - but for fuck's sake, she's just a kid. At the moment, the media is lapping it up while Steve's death is still fresh in the public's mind but sooner or later (and probably sooner), the media will find something else to pull at the public heartstrings and the crowds will start to thin at Australia Zoo. And where will that leave little Bindi? Thank God she has a family who loves her and will support her once the media has milked her for all she's worth.

So what does this have to do with Letterman? Tonight Channel 10 chose to screen Letterman during prime time purely because Terri and Bindi were appearing on his show. To maximise the heart-string pull and hype, 10 ran a heavy commercial campaign promoting the special event. As I mentioned earlier, Letterman is usually on at a late timeslot so most family types don't, or rarely, see his show. A lot of Australian families and kiddies would have tuned into 10 tonight to see Terri and Bindi and were subjected to 40+ minutes of mindless, humourless Letterman drivel as the Irwins were the last interviewees to appear on the show. I think a lot of families would have given up by the 20 minute mark, sent the kids to bed and switched over to the tennis.

If you break this saga down to a basic synopsis it would read as follows: Man dies, daughter has her heart set on continuing her father's legacy, mother allows daughter to do this, media seeks ratings so capitalise on the child's desire, public has an interest in the deceased's family so watch a 1 hour television show that has no more than 10 minutes of content they are actually interested in. Is there no depth too low that the media will stoop to in order to get ratings? Appears not.

RIP Steve.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Breakfast at Sweathearts" Cold Chisel
"Nightmare" Brainbug
"Indifference" Pearl Jam
"Glorified G" Pearl Jam
"My Michelle" Guns N Roses
"Der Klang Der Familie" 3 Phase feat. Dr Motte
"Boss Dub" Shamen
"Ugly" Violent Femmes
"Immortality" Pearl Jam
"Under the Bridge" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Have a Drink on Me" AC/DC
"Single" Everything But The Girl

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

New Australians in New Australia

Unfortunately, last week was the final of both the great doco's SBS was screening on Wednesday nights. However, they started a new series tonight titled Living With Illegals. The presenter, Sorious Samura, travels with illegal immigrants on their venture to flee their home countries to a better life. The hardships these people face in an attempt to better their lives is staggering. Tonight was the first episode in the series, starting in the forests of Northern Morocco it followed the flight of immigrants through Spain into France and then into the UK.

I will admit, I've never given much thought to the lives of new immigrants here. Sure, I see them everyday but, like most people, don't pay them much attention. The stories some of these people could tell must be amazing. At the same time, I wonder how they feel after they've arrived in their country of destination and have settled in for a year or so. Do they look at our society and see nothing but a spoilt, whinging, decadent bunch of tossers with no meaning or purpose? Was it worth the effort?

Coming from a poverty stricken country to an overly affluent place like Australia must be a total culture shock and a real eye-opener on the western society. Is this why so many new immigrants choose to segregate themselves and form their own communities? Or is it because we tend to look down on them, provide them with no assistance, pretend that they don't exist? We're a rude bunch of stuck-up pricks who have given up the idea of 'a fair go for all' and instead give off 'do it ya-self ya lazy bastard' attitudes.

On the topic, why is it that an immigrant will go through so much struggle in an effort to leave a country, but carry their cultural baggage into their new home? Exhibit A, the Croats v the Serbs at the Australian Open. Granted, most of the dickheads involved in this incident are 2nd or 3rd generation Australians, but why carry this sort of bullshit over generation after generation? Leave it in Croatia and Serbia, don't bring it here - isn't that part of the reason why your families came here in the first place? Remember and respect your cultural heritage but get over the bullshit. You're Australian now so pick on the Kiwis, the Poms and the Tasmanians instead!

There's still a lot of work to be done before Australia is truely a culturally integrated and harmonious society. I certainly do not think that us skips are beyond reproach either - Cronulla for example. Every culture has its portion of dickheads, but the non-dickheads out number them. It's up to us non-dickheads to lead by example and let the dickheads know that their bullshit is no longer tolerated.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Face It" Sven Vath
"Mellowship Slinky in B Major" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"If You Have to Ask" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Totmacher" DJ Hell
"Everyone Needs a 303" Fat Boy Slim
"Once" Pearl Jam
"The Chain" Breeder

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

[Insert Advertising Banner Here]

"Today was a good day" - Ice Cube

And it was. The sky was blue with a scattering of clouds. The temperature was moderately warm. And the sun was shining. I left work today feeling like I had achieved something, that I had performed my duties well (I'll leave the whole concept of 'performing' alone for now, tempting as it is....). I shared an enjoyable meal with friends and chatted over a few beers. Over-all, a good day.

Tonight, TV was offering it's usual schedule of bland, pointless and mind-numbing drivel so I decided to venture into the world of the blogsphere. What an interesting a diverse place! I read a wide variety of entries spanning from politics, domestic life, parenting, spirituality, marketing, business, sport - the whole gambit of human interests really. There is something reassuring about witnessing people putting their lives, thoughts and feelings out there for the whole world to see. Sure, we may not all share the same thoughts and ideas or interests, but we all share the need to share. It's a shame people aren't as willing to share in real life as they are when they're sitting behind the safety of a monitor and keyboard. If people were willing to be as open, honest, up-front in person, maybe there'd be a decline in bullshit. Not that I can talk.... but I am working on it.

It's a shame that so many personal blogs out there have succumbed to e-advertising. Considering that most blog-hosts provide space free of advertising, banners and links at no charge, I fail to understand why people feel the need to add marketing tripe onto their personal pages. Sure, it's understandable when reading a marketing or business blog to have advertising - but why does a 64 year old retiree who is writing about his grandchildren put banners on his blog?

Now, before I get labelled a hypocrite, please note that the only external references on my pages link directly to free blog-related resources. If blogspot deems it essential that I place advertising on my page, I'll relocate my blog elsewhere. If the blog resources linked on my page advise that I have to insert an advertising banner, I'll leave their service.

I have no gripe with marketing or business blogs - it's the internet after all, a place where everyone and anyone can throw anything out there for all and sunder to look at. But why do individuals want to clutter up their own, personal space promoting random company x? Is it for the promise of a few measly dollars? Are your own thoughts, feelings, lives valued at such a small price? How would the 64 year old retiree feel about an "Enlarge your Penis" banner appearing above the picture of his 4 month old grand-daughter?

My life is not a billboard. My thoughts are not for sale.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"The Real Thing" Pearl Jam & Cypress Hill
"Jeremy" Pearl Jam
"Deliverance" K90
"Frontier Psychiatrist" The Avalanches
"The World has Turned and Left Me Here" Weezer
"It's a Long Way to the Top" AC/DC
"Children of the Revolution" Violent Femmes

Monday, 15 January 2007

Perception (My Head in the Clouds)

Perception is a weird and wonderful thing. I've heard it said "We create our own realities" - don't know who originally threw the idea out there, but it's true. Two people laying on their backs in a park, watching the clouds drift over can both look at the same cloud and each see something completely different. Or they could see the same thing. Likewise, two people walk into a furniture store and look at the same couch. They could both think that the couch is aesthetically pleasing, stylish, luxurious and comfortable. On the other hand, one could think that, while the other thinks the couch is big, cumbersome, poorly made and pretty damned ugly.

Generally, no 2 people perceive things the same way. We all have numerous sources that we draw upon when making a perception - experience, situation, knowledge, peers. Some of these influences will be stronger than others and will draw our perception more to their slant. This is common knowledge - anyone who has done basic psychology or attended some bullshit feel-good workplace group bonding session knows this. Unfortunately, so does the media and the corporations.

The media knows they cannot make everyone perceive things the same way, but damn it can plant the seeds and hope like hell they take root. Fashion is probably the easiest example to dissect (I could choose another, but it's 23:15 here and a workday tomorrow). The best way to make a "new" style become fashionable is to bombard the all-consuming public with images of their idols flaunting the new look. But it can't be blatant any more, it has to be subtle - the idol can't be saying "Hey, how cool do I look in these new jeans?", the idol just has walk around in them without paying them too much attention. So celebrities get paid to wear clothes when they're doing nothing in particular. Television and movie producers get a free wardrobe for their current piece of drivel. Retain chains buy up massive quantities to the point where 80% of their stock is the "new" style, removing any last chance of choice the consumer may have. And the gullible fall for it every time.

Exhibit A - these fuckin ugly guys tee shirts with random crap written/stitched all over them. Not one of my mates thinks these tops look good yet the shops are full of them. It is nigh near impossible to buy a tee shirt or polo shirt that is not covered in random shit. And it has no meaning to the consumer. I live in Australia, yet I can buy tee shirts that have "Ohio 61" written on it for the basement bargain price of $59.95. I have never been to Ohio, I know no-one who lives in Ohio and I have no affinity with the number 61, so why would I a buy a tee shirt with "Ohio 61" written on it??? And why the fuck would I fork over $60 for the ugly, meaningless thing that was probably made in Taiwan for less than $1.50???? Oh, that's right, because some fuckwit actor was wearing a top like it at some random social function that was shown on the so-called nightly news. For fuck's sake, how much meaningless bullshit do we need shoved in our faces and down our throats???

That's how I perceive those tee shirts anyway. Some out there may think they are great, stylish and worth their weight in gold. Good for you.

Give me a cloud any day - clouds are simple, free and no-one has to point out how nice they are for me to enjoy them.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Beds Are Burning" Midnight Oil
"Caught Stealing" Jane's Addiction
"On My Mind" Powderfinger
"Madagascar (Ferry Corsten remix)" Art of Trance
"Don't Go Now" Ratcat
"Coded Language" DJ Krust feat Saul Williams
"Zebra" John Butler Trio

Sunday, 14 January 2007


"Give me a sign, give me a feeling, I'm empty" - Rebecca's Empire
So penned Rebecca Barnard. So feel I. I have felt empty for years but I have only realised it. I have been busy filling my life with meaningless products, items, acquaintances and events. It got to the point where meaningless became the only meaning in my life. Meaningless defined how I looked, how I lived, where I ate and drank - it defined everything except how to feel, because meaningless has no place for feelings and will proactively desensify the individual to prevent them from feeling.

"I feel numb" - U2
Now I here sit here, empty, alone and lost in a world that is uncaring, manipulative, self-centred. I realise now that the woman I love and have unknowingly loved for years is now in a relationship with another man because I have been too busy looking for meaningless. I realise that I am not a man but a consumer that has a warped interpretation of what a man is based on a market-driven media. I have been so self-centred that I have failed to see the pain and suffering my family and friends go through unless they have cried out for help. I see now that they are all, to some extent, experiencing the same disillusionment that I have been suffering through. And it is killing us all.

It is not all doom and gloom my nonexistent reader. The world is a beautiful place when you look outside of the human race. There is love and joy to be found and there are other people longing for someone to share the experience with. We can raise above the blandness of the everyday and find happiness, substance and meaning.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Satisfaction" Benny Benassi
"Sunsets" Powderfinger
"On a Plain" Nirvana
"Mellowship Slinky in B Major" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"The Greeting Song" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"The First Time" U2

"Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)" De La Soul
"Beautiful Day" U2

Thursday, 11 January 2007

A Mufti by any other name.....

First off, let me state I am not a racist man. My best mate is Lebanese, another Sri Lankan, my auntie is Malaysian. Nor am I discriminatory against any religion - I have friends who are Christian, Muslim, Catholic, Wikan, Hindi.

So, Mufti Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali has gone on television in Egypt and said teenagers should not be blamed for raping women, Australians are liars and the Muslim-Australians are more Australian than the Anglo-Australians.,23599,21043838-2,00.html

What the fuck?! This coming from a man who claims to be a spiritual leader wishing to promote cultural harmony. Granted, I only know this from what I've seen and read in the media. But when I see a man of God (or Allah in this case) saying these words, it makes my blood boil. It is total bullshit!! There is enough hatred and dis-trust around without having a leader from one community publicly voice opinions which will offend other communities. We try and teach children to accept each other and themselves for who they are, and not to discriminate or place one culture above another. Then dickheads like this go and shoot it all to shit.

By the way, if the Pope was to say the same thing, I'd call him a dickhead too.

Songs played while writing this entry:
"Mellowship Slinky in B Major" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Buddy Holly" Weezer
"Live and Let Die" Guns N Roses

"Rocco (Dave Clarke remix)" Death in Vegas
"New Year's Day" U2
"Apache Rose Peacock" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Sweet Child O Mine" Guns N Roses

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Happiness has no price

Wednesday, mid-way through the week and (now that Weeds is off the air thanks to the incompetent management of Australian television networks) the only night where there is something actually worth watching on TV. Yes, believe it or not, there are television shows out there that can make people actually think. Remember thinking? It's that thing you used to do before you were brainwashed into becoming a consumer-slash-worker rather than a person. For the past 6 weeks, SBS has been screening 2 doco's which investigate modern life:

Counter Culture - investigates mass market consumerism and the cultural aspects of shopping of 6 different countries.

Decadence: The Meaningless of Modern Life - looks at modern society and its concepts of democracy, family, religion, corporatisation and sex.

I strongly, strongly, strongly urge anyone who is interested in society, morals, consumerism, capitalism and their own well being to watch Decadence. Here's a snipit to whet your appetite:

Why is it that we, being the western society, are so easily led? People in 3rd world countries can survive on the basic necesseties or even less, while we complain if we can't get imported sun-dried tomatoes in garlic aoli. Do we need it? Shit no! But for some reason, we've been taught to think that we should always be able to buy anything that we want - for a price. And we are continually wanting more and more to fill in our empty lives. Bitch is, the stuff we buy doesn't fill the void, so we buy more, end up with a heap of crap and still feel empty. We have stopped being people and are nothing but consumers with an isatiable appetite. And the big businesses are more than happy to keep dangling the carrots in front of us to keep us salivating.

Monday, 8 January 2007

First no-bullshit day at work

My first day of work while attempting to cut the bullshit. It's a lot harder than I thought considering I'm surrounded by bullshit all day. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind my work (surprisingly enough!) and like most of the people I work with to some extent. But considering I work for a large corporation in an area that deals largely with our Marketing department.... well I'm sure you can see how the bullshit meter can go off the scale.

Being that I've never worked for a large company like this one before, I'm not sure if this is a generalisation or not, but it appears to me that big business runs on bullshit. It's bad enough that they try to convince that we need their bullshit products using mindless, degrading advertising - that our lives will some how be better, enriched or complete if we buy their crap or use their services. Peel away the veneers of bullshit and what you find underneath is more bullshit.

Part of my job involves data analysis and statistical evaluation. I get numbers from someone in one department, which were compiled by someone else in another department. Then I put those numbers into a model which generates other numbers that are sent to yet more departments. The models that I use are quite complex and took me days of work to develop so that they crunch the figures to produce an exact outcome. However, if someone's boss in another department doesn't like what those figures have to say, it comes back to me with a request to "rework" the numbers. In other words, turn real data in bullshit data just so someone can go to their big boss with a good-news story. The record for "reworking" one set of data - 27 times. Makes me wonder how real any business statistics are. It also gives me an idea as to why the global economy is so shaky.

What did I do personally to cut the bullshit today? There's a new guy at work in one of those departments that supplies me with numbers. He's replaced the guy who used to email the numbers through to me. I gave the new guy a call today to ask him to send the numbers through, though I knew he would have next to no idea what I was talking about or where to source the information I required. Before picking up the phone, I decided that I was going to be up front and straight with the newbie. We've all been the newbie before, so I couldn't see any reason why I should make his life hard just because he was in an awkward situation due to circumstances out of his control.

I called him up, introduced myself, my role, explained what data I needed and why. This guy was a full-on noob!!! The way he spoke gave me the impression this is the first job he's ever had - though it could just be the way he talks? - and trying real hard to make an impression. He started going on in full, professional type jargon about why he couldn't get the numbers to me but how he'd work to rectify the situation and respond within a timely manner. All the time, I'm sitting on the other end of the phone thinking "just cut the bullshit and tell it how it is!" I decided that, since this guy was so green, I'd let it slide and sent him an email later simply inviting him to give me a call when he'd settled in if he'd like to go over the numbers in more detail.

That phone call made me think of how I respond to requests from others. So often I go into detailed explanations of why something has (or hasn't) been done in a certain way - trying to make things sound more complicated than they actually are. Later in the day, I received a phone call from a colleague chasing up a decision that I was meant to have made on a proposal. I tried the no bullshit response. "I haven't gotten around to it since I've just got back from leave, but send me a meeting invite and we can go over it together." My colleague accepted it, sent me the invite and we're meeting on Thursday to go over the proposal. What's more, I felt good because I didn't try to bullshit my way out of the situation.

Let's just see if I can keep it up.....!

Sunday, 7 January 2007

It's Time To Cut The Bullshit

Modern life is fucked ya know.

Welcome to my blog. Sit down (tho you prolly are already), put your feet up, light up a smoke or a joint if that's your thing, crack open a coldie and relax. It's time to cut the bullshit. There's too much of it out there now, to me it seems that society has become nothing but bullshit. Bullshit runs our way of life and we fuckin let it. Our politicians are full of bullshit, the media promotes bullshit, companies sell us bullshit and celebrities are nothing but bullshit. And the sad thing is, too many people accept all this bullshit as reality and live bullshit lives. The worst thing is, kids are learning it, accepting it and not knowing any better. There goes the future.

Ok, by now you prolly think I'm cynical and I most likely am. Fact is, I've only come to this realisation recently and was disgusted to see how sucked-in I had become. I was disgusted with myself, who I was, how I was, what I was and so decided it was time to change. How you ask? Good question my friend! At this stage, I'm only beginning phase one - appropriately titled "Cut the Bullshit" - and I'm making it up as I go along.

Let me define bullshit, because in order to cut it, it needs to be identified. For me, bullshit consists of the following:

  • lies
  • deceit
  • falseness
  • manipulation
  • artificiality
  • self-delusion
  • hype

I see all this bullshit everyday, and not only externally. I figure I can't expect the world to change without changing myself. Does that sound self-conceited? I don't mean if I change, the world will change - that's bullshit! What I mean is that I don't have the right to bag out the bullshit in this world when I am a proponent of it. So I have to change. If by my changing I can influence others to change, then yay for me.

So, this blog is for me to record my journey, track my progress and voice my opinion. Feel free to tag along, offer advice or join in. But please note, in light of the overall goal of my self-journey (God that sounds like wank!), I may say some things which offend people - just a warning.

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